Showing posts with label Romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romance. Show all posts

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde

As the temperatures are soaring into the 30's here, the only place to be is the beach. After a refreshing dip I reach for my faithful Kindle and read until it gets too hot again. This one was great beach reading. One of my favourite genres; historical fiction. Quite a sweet Romeo and Juliet style plot, but with two more books in the series, I hope that the final outcome will be happier! 5 stars.

To order click picture:)
This romance that mixes fiction, fact and legend works well. It kept me hooked from beginning to the end. The star crossed lovers were both characters I understood and felt great empathy for as they searched for a place of safety where they could be together. I liked that the writer has set this romance after the fall of Camelot so we recognise and know quite a lot already about the main character Alden’s father; Lancelot du Lac. Not much is known about the dark ages so the bringing in of a well-known saga was something that I liked and gave me some background. Unlike many romances that border on the erotic, this one was clean. In my opinion this was a big plus as the characters were in their late teens and early twenties, so their romance was suitably sweet and innocent. There was plenty of action as the young couple fled Annis’ enraged father and they made their way across ancient Britain. The dialogue contained enough humour to provide us with some lighter moments, overall an engrossing and well balanced read. I’m delighted there are another two books in the series as there are more secrets to uncover and adventure to be had.

Monday, 29 May 2017

The Elusive Highlander by Ju Ephraime

As a reviewer I read many books but not always are they my preferred genre. I have to admit that Romance and Sci-fi are not something that I love, but I have read some very good books in both genres. I know there is a large demand for Romance, especially the type that is bordering on the erotic. This one I picked as I love Scotland and History. It had both elements, but I think it will appeal more to the fans of the before mentioned books. I gave it 4 stars.





The story was a bit more complex than some other romances I had read. Two lovers denied their happiness by a treacherous poisoning. The mother of the murdered Highlander casts an ancient spell to keep him alive, but something is wrong and he wanders in time until he meets his love, in the shape of 21st century Coira, again. This meeting sends them both back to 14th century Scotland. There are a lot of elements to cope with in this book and some of it worked and some of it didn’t. As a romance this worked, there was enough sizzling dialogue between the characters and you could see why they would fall for each other. The history and the politics of the time was a suitable back drop. The descriptions of the beauty of the Scottish castles and scenery were lovely. Even the time travel element worked. The scattering of Gealic into the dialogue was just another distraction. I would have been happy if the mother was the only one to possess magic. To talk about Druids and Fae takes us in a whole other direction again.  It all was just a bit much to take in.
 If you like to learn a bit more about Scotland but find the history books a bit dry, try and absorb it via this steamy romance set against the back drop of Robert the Bruce and the wars of independence. Ju has changed a few details for the benefit of a good story but she fills us in on these changes at the end of the book.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Just A drop in the Ocean by Grant Leishman

Spring is hotting up here and I hope to get a lot more reading done on the beach. The water is still a little chilly at 17°C but refreshing non the less. This book was quite an epic read spanning a generation and a large part of the Pacific. I gave it 5 stars.
Just a Drop in the Ocean by Grant Leishman on Amazon.co.uk
I’ve wanted to read another book by this author ever since reading ‘The Photograph’, that was a supernatural thriller with a fair bit of tongue in cheek humour. A drop in the ocean is a more serious affair but again a very good read. What I like about Grant Leishman is his ability to create a mature character. They are complex characters formed by their experiences and not without faults. This portrait about two penpals who lose touch but never stop thinking about each other was fascinating. Alternating between New-Zealand and the Philippines it offered us a glimpse into the ordinary lives of two cultures. There was still a bit of wry humour in the form of Nick’s wife Marivic who came into Nick’s life like a tropical cyclone. Excellent read and a nice reminder that romance is sometimes slow burning and ageless.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Whack a Spammer and Mint Condition

This time I reviewed a romance and a personal little rant about all that is wrong with self publishing today. Both got 4 stars from me. Here are the reviews:
Mint Condition (Classic Love Book 1) by Kat Drennan

When Maddie is forced to sell her classic Cadillac it brings Nick Berlin amongst with a whole host of problems into her life. This modern romance is a combination of road adventure, crime caper and classic cars. What I liked about it that the characters were not black and white but were formed by their pasts and all the baggage that comes with it. Maddie, full of self-doubt due to the abandonment by her father, and Nick scarred by the behaviour of his own.  The pace was at times a bit slow, but I liked the fact that this had a more interesting backstory than some other romances that I’ve read. A few surprises on the way and some sizzling romance.              
In my case this book pretty much preached to the converted. I hate when I search for a genre on Amazon a whole lot of dubious titles comes up. If a lot of key words are added to the tittle I won’t give the book a second look.
This was a very short book; well more of an essay into what is happening in the book world just now. It took me just 30min. to read it and I would say it was more of a personal crusade than an in depth look at the current trends in publishing. That said it told me a few things I didn’t know and I think anyone could learn something from this essay. Will it change my ways? Probably not as I already hated spam books and recognise the signs. I will also keep doing what I always do and that is to leave an honest review. Will I do anything about spammers? Probably not, where there is a buck to be made there will be spammers and charlatans, it is like always; buyers beware!
 



Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Vikings: Taken (The Great Heathen Army series Book 1) by Ceri Bladen

Vikings get a bad rap and initially I wasn't happy with how brutish they were made out to be. Some reading was required and I'm shocked to admit that the Vikings probably did deserve their reputation. One of their main incentives was to 'Harvest' slaves and especially women! So the fact that our young Heroine is carted off back to Denmark as a thrall (the Nordic word for slave) was very likely.
If you're interested here is an article on National Geographic about it:
Vikings, slaves, thralls and archaeology
Viking: Taken by Ceri Bladen on Amazon.com

It must have been a terrifying sight to medieval Britons to see the Viking longboats appear on their shores. News of their raids must have spread and the local population could only hope that they would have some property and their lives left at the end of the day. This is what a twelve year old Rosfrith has to endure at the start of this book. These were brutal times for the ancient Britons, when tribes from Scandinavia saw their lands as easy pickings. Ceri Bladen describes this well and we feel the fear and hardship this girl suffers after her father has abandoned her in an attempt to safe his own skin. I always appreciate when a writer does her research and uses the political wrangling of the time to give their story an extra dimension.
Amongst all this chaos, Rosfrith finds an unlikely protector. Ubba, a chieftain in his own right but here on his brothers command, notices the spirited girl and after his clairvoyant brother tells him their destinies are linked he keeps an eye on her. As the spoils are divided, Rosfrith is claimed by Ubba and is taken to their lands as a thrall (a slave). Years pass, but as Rosfrith blossoms into an attractive woman, Ubba’s eye is once again caught. Love can be ignited under the most difficult of circumstances, but will it flourish? Glad there is a second part in the writing so I we can find out.